I know that I live in a music bubble. I’m surrounded by all kinds of music 24/7, so I’m a little more aware of what’s going on than the average person. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are, too. Music permeates ever aspect of your life–and quite possibly the lives of your friends and family.
However, I need to point out that we’re weird. Very weird.
While there are millions of us hardcore superfans, the truth is that humankind consists mostly of casual music fans. All they care about are songs with a good beat and songs they can sing along with. They have no interest to go any deeper than the biggest hits.
Many superfans find this really, really hard to understand. “How can you NOT be obsessed with music? What’s wrong with you?” The answer is: nothing. Music just doesn’t mean that much to these–and I stress this again–BILLIONS of people.
Here’s a little radio industry insight. Program directors and music directors always have a very hard time convincing their on-air presenters that the station needs to keep playing certain songs even though everyone on staff is sick to death of them. Here’s a rule of thumb: when your DJs start complaining about overplaying a song, that’s just about the time when most of your listening audience is just getting into it.
I find that Shazam is a great tool for pointing this out. Open the app and click “Explore” at the bottom. Pinch the map to zoom in on the area where you live. Then tap the image above your city or town. What you will see are the songs that are being Shazamed the most by your neighbours. In other words, these are the songs the people around you don’t know and are seeking to identify.
As I write this, the most searched-for track in Toronto is “Latch” by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith. This is a song that’s been played 364 times by Virgin Radio, 225 times by Z103, 142 times by The Flow, 127 times by KISS 92 and 41 times by Indie 88. It’s just a matter of time before it’s picked up by CHFI and CHUM-FM.
It’s even weirder when you go to Los Angeles. Despite being played 996 times on KIIS-FM, the city’s biggest pop station, “Latch” is the second-most Shazamed song in SoCal. And the song has also been played 1,956 times on 97.1 Amp Radio in LA. Yet tons of people still don’t know the song.
It’s the same story all over the continent. “Latch” is one of the top three most-searched for songs in Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg and dozens more.
Let this be a reminder to all of us: just because we’re sick of a song doesn’t mean that’s it needs to go away. More eye-opening figures at Mashable.